Visit Europe after Brexit

There would be changes if you visit the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

It would mean that from 12 April 2019, the rules for passports, driving, EHIC cards, pet travel and more would change. Check if you need to act now to make sure you can travel as planned.

There would be no immediate changes to travel if the UK agrees a deal to leave the EU. The rules would be the same until at least 2020.

This page will be updated when things change. To get the latest information, sign up to get email alerts.

Passports: check your renewal date

You may need to renew your British passport earlier if you’re travelling after 12 April and there’s no deal.

You should renew your passport if, on the day you travel, your passport either:

  • has less than 6 months left
  • is more than 9 years and 6 months old

If you do not renew it, you may not be able to travel to most EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

You can use a tool to check whether your passport is valid for the country you’re visiting.

It usually takes 3 weeks if you need to renew your passport. There’s a premium service if you need it sooner.

These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland. You can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.

Entering other countries

Visas: you should not need one for short trips

If there is a deal, there will be no changes to how you enter the EU or Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland until at least 31 December 2020. You will continue to be able to travel or work without a visa during this time.

If there’s no deal, you will not need a visa for short trips, according to European Commission proposals. You could stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Check back for updates.

Travel to Ireland will not change, even if there’s no deal. You’ll continue to be able to travel and work there in the same way as before.

Border control: you may have to show your return ticket and money

There will be other changes from 12 April 2019 if there’s no deal.

At border control, you may need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay
  • use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing

You would also not be able to work in the EU.

Healthcare: check you’re covered

Whether there’s a deal or not, you should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad.

If there’s a deal, you’ll continue to get state-provided healthcare in the EU if you have a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) card. The scheme also covers Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

If there’s no deal, your EHIC card may not be valid.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition

The EHIC scheme covers pre-existing conditions, while many travel insurance policies do not.

If there’s no deal, your EHIC card may not be valid. It’s important that you check your travel insurance covers your condition. You may have to find a specialist insurer to cover you, depending on your condition.

Travel

There may be changes from 12 April if there’s no deal. What these are depend on how you’re travelling.

However you travel, check before you leave for any delays or disruption.

Driving: you may need extra documents

If there’s a deal, you can continue to drive in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland in the same way as before. Bring your UK driving licence, and your V5C (log book) if you’re taking your vehicle from the UK.

You’ll need some extra documents if there’s no deal.

If you’re taking your vehicle, you’ll need:

  • a free ‘green card’ - allow 1 month to get this from your car insurance company
  • a GB sticker for your car
  • an International Driving Permit (IDP) - get this over the counter in participating Post Offices (each permit costs £5.50)

If you’re hiring a vehicle abroad, you’ll need an IDP - get this before you leave.

You will not need an IDP to drive in Ireland.

Follow the guidance on preparing to drive after Brexit for more information. This includes changes to which IDP you need to drive in other European countries.

Flights: will continue as normal

Even if there’s no deal, the government says that:

  • flights will continue as normal
  • airport security procedures will not change for direct flights to and from the UK
  • there should not be delays at airport security if you change flights in EU airports

Coach travel: check back to confirm

Existing regular bus and coach services will continue to run.

The government is working with the EU to make sure coach holidays and tours continue.

Check back for updates.

Channel tunnel: trains will continue to run

Travel on Eurostar and Eurotunnel will continue to run even if there’s no deal.

Ferries and cruises: will continue to run

Even if there’s no deal, ferries and cruises will continue to run.

Compensation if your travel is disrupted

Some travel insurance policies only cover certain types of disruption. Check your provider’s terms and conditions to make sure you have the cover you need if your travel is cancelled or delayed.

Your consumer rights will not change, even if there’s no deal. This means that if your travel is cancelled or delayed you may be able to claim a refund or compensation. Check your booking’s terms and conditions to find out more.

Pet travel: allow 4 months to arrange

If there’s no deal, you will not be able to use the existing pet passport scheme.

Instead you’ll need to follow a different process, which takes 4 months.

Follow the guidance about pet travel to Europe after Brexit.

Mobile roaming: free roaming may end

If there’s no deal, the guarantee of free mobile phone roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will end.

Check with your phone operator to find out about any roaming charges you might get after 12 April.

The government says a new law will limit roaming charges to £45 per month.

If your travel company goes out of business

You’re protected if you buy a package holiday and the company goes out of business.

You get this cover even if it’s an EU company and there’s no deal, as long as the company targets UK customers.

Otherwise, you can claim compensation if you used your credit card. You’ll continue to be able to claim for payments between £100 and £30,000.

Other Brexit changes

There are other changes that may apply when the UK leaves the EU.

Read the guidance if you’re: